Indianapolis: Bobby Labonte preview

Former Brickyard Champion Rides with Totino's Pizza Rolls This Weekend This weekend, Bobby Labonte travels to the world's most famous speedway, the Indianapolis (Ind.) Motor Speedway. Labonte heads to the Brickyard with Totino's Pizza Rolls on...

Former Brickyard Champion Rides with Totino's Pizza Rolls This Weekend

This weekend, Bobby Labonte travels to the world's most famous speedway, the Indianapolis (Ind.) Motor Speedway. Labonte heads to the Brickyard with Totino's Pizza Rolls on the side of the #43 Dodge. Labonte will race the #43 Totino's Pizza Rolls Dodge on a weekend that is highlighted by Sunday's Allstate 400.

Labonte and the team are 21st in points heading into Indy. The team is 194 points out of the 15th position. Labonte and the #43 crew continue to be one of the best Dodge teams on the circuit. Labonte is the fourth best Dodge in points.

Last year at Indianapolis Labonte's Dodge had engine trouble and was out of the race after 135 laps. The team hopes to rebound with a strong performance this weekend in the 160-lap race. Labonte has the experience with 14 starts at Indianapolis, he has five top-10 and four top-five finishes at the track. Labonte won the Brickyard 400 in 2000. His average start is 19 and average finish is 15.

Comments from Labonte heading into this weekend's Brickyard 400:

"It has been one of the biggest wins of my career. Winning the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis is one of those races that can take your career to the next level. It's not the same as winning a Daytona 500, but it's still a very prestigious race. It means a lot to win this race. It has been a highlight in my career to have won it.

"We were so close the previous years (1997, 1998 and 1999). We were second, third, second and won it in 2000. We had a really good stretch and were finally able to get the win. It's pretty rare to get a run of finishes like that at any track, but to have that run at Indianapolis is pretty special.

"The track is a hard track for us to run. There isn't much room to pass and there is absolutely zero room for error. The turns are all so different. You have to be perfect in each one to have a good lap. Sometimes I think the pole winner is the guy who has made the least amount of mistakes during their lap. It doesn't take much to be off a lot here. One little mistake in one turn is going to cost you a lot of time.

"The goal then is to be as close to perfect as you can every lap. It's not something that you can do every lap, but the more you are the better you are going to be. You need to hit your marks because that margin of error is so big. You can either gain a lot of ground or lose a lot in one lap, but it's harder to lose it than gain it.

"We've seen track position be so critical in the past too. It's a relatively narrow track for us. It's pretty 'tight' all around. It's just hard to get under a guy and pass them. There isn't much banking and the track is usually pretty slick too. The track was built with the purpose of open wheel cars racing on it. Our cars are big, bulky and don't handle as well. It's a tricky place to get around. If you are up front it's a lot easier to stay there.

"You can't predict anything in this sport, but we all know that track position will be very important at the end of the day. Our Totino's Pizza Rolls Dodge had some problems last year, but we're hoping to have a good run Sunday. We need to have a good practice on Friday and qualify up front on Saturday. A strong finish on Sunday can get us started on another string of great finishes at Indianapolis."

-credit: pe

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte